Is anybody on a more-than-two-year iPhone upgrade cycle?

I get that we’re all Apple nerds here, and every time September rolls around the new phones are pretty shiny.

That said, I’m on an iPhone 11 and I don’t see a super-compelling reason to upgrade for my use case. The thing that would be most likely to sway me is the larger screen coming to the “cheap” iPhone models, and even that isn’t really enough for me to justify $900 right now.

Same with the watch. I have a Series 4, and the new stuff is definitely cool - but not cool enough for an upgrade at this point. Maybe next year.

And I don’t think this is because I’m being a cheapskate - I think it’s because Apple did a good enough job with the products I own where I don’t need anything more for my day-to-day usage. My iPhone’s battery was having massive problems, but I’m still on AppleCare (I continued it beyond the 2 years), so they replaced the battery for free and it’s as good as it was when it was new.

Apple also isn’t pushing old devices off the upgrade train. WatchOS goes back to my Series 4 (my girlfriend’s watch just fell off - she has a Series 3), and iOS goes all the way back to the iPhone 8.

A decade or so ago, I was talking with people about how mobile device churn would get less frequent as we hit some sort of stabilizing point where the year-over-year improvements weren’t as major.

Do y’all think we’ve hit that point? Is anybody else waiting longer and longer between device upgrades?


Currently my wife and I are in about a 3 year cycle I think.
So, earlier this year I bought myself an iPhone 13 Mini, and that meant she got an upgrade from her iPhone 6 to my old iPhone XR.

I think phone technology has stabilised, in that current tech is good enough for most people long-term. I only see battery life as the sticking point.


I had the original, then a 4, then a 6S, and now a Xs. While I’d like a new phone I don’t need one.

But I’ve never been one to chase the new shiny thing. And I’ve never understood the “new every two” mentality. :person_shrugging:


I have an iPhone 8, which I am looking to upgrade this year. I replaced the battery a couple of years ago out of warranty for something like $29, and the Apple store screwed it up so I got a reconditioned iPhone 8, otherwise I might have upgraded earlier.

The 8 is starting to feel fairly slow, but my wife wants it, so she’ll get it, (and it’ll be a huge upgrade from the truly ancient Android phone she uses now).

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I’ve owned an original, a 4S, 5S, 6S, and an 11. The battery on my 11 is at 93% and the camera is great. I replaced my Series 2 Apple Watch last year with an SE. Apple hasn’t added any features in the last few years to the iPhone or Watch that I need or want. When they do I’ll upgrade.


Honestly, the only thing that really entices me to upgrade is a substantially better camera. My iPhone is mostly an iPod replacement, a landline replacement, a handy camera in my pocket, and something to use for doomscrolling while waiting in checkout lines. (I should be reading books instead of doomscrolling, but I digress …) An iPhone 5 would probably cover all of that, except for the camera part. I relinquished my iPhone 8 and its lovely, lovely home button for the sole purpose of getting all the the new camera hotness promised by the iPhone 13.


“lovely home button” :cry:


We went from an iPhone 8 to 13 last year. so, 4-year cycle I think? Our first watches were Series 3, still wear them daily. Unsure when we’ll upgrade any of that. Have an iPad 5th gen we will sell soon and my MBAir M1 will probably go at least 4 years…

I’ve been around every 3-4 years. However, I may be completely off the upgrade cycle now. I currently have a 12 mini and I have no desire to upgrade to a larger device.


I went from a 6s to a XR and was planning to upgrade this year for better camera and 5g. Wife is on a 10s Max and is looking for similar. Both were bought almost 4 years ago so that’s our upgrade cycle.

We will have to wait to get new phones as we’re out of the country for the month. Just hope they don’t get back ordered.

2016 SE.
2020 12 mini.

I had vowed multiple times to never buy an iPhone 6 form-factor device. Admittedly, when my SE, its 16GB storage and liquid damage got too awkward and Apple seemingly didn’t want to release smaller and more squarely shaped phones ever again, I finally gave in and bought an SE 2 in early 2020.

Hated the form factor just as much as in 2014, sold it a few months later (for probably way less money than I could have got), and jumped at the earliest opportunity to buy a 12 mini. Happy ever since.

I was on a three year upgrade cycle or so, and so is my wife. But I’m switching to annual because I run my own business from home with minimal overhead and honestly need more expenses for tax reasons. My wife will get my hand me down every year, and we’ll trade in the 2 year old phone. This will be $400 more expensive than buying each of us a new phone once every three years, but the tax write offs will be much more significant than $400.

I see no reason to upgrade every year were it not for some sort of strange situation like that, though, and although I am kicking myself for not coming up with this sooner, had no issues upgrading only every 3 years since the 6.

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I’m on an “I’ll upgrade when the current phone dies” cycle. Earlier this year my 6S quit charging, and I replaced it with a 13. I figure my next one will be an 18. :slight_smile:


I’m 3-5 years cycle but I like to gift my SO with a new phone every two years. It depends if she wants the 14 or not and she’s currently on iPhone 12 mini. The battery on that one last half a day which makes it challenging for her when she needs to work onsite or outside.

We just got our Series 7 last year coming from Series 3. The only thing that would make us upgrade to the next level would be blood pressure monitor.

The one I’m guaranteed to upgrade will be the next iPad Pro as I’m using the 12.9 2018 model. There are major changes with the apps I use like Procreate and Affinity Designer with more layers, bigger canvas and faster refresh on complex illustration.

4 years, all going according to plan. I’m convinced the 13 mini will return as the 2024 SE and I’ll buy it day one as an upgrade from my 2020 SE. Battery health currently at 85% so I’ll almost certainly get it replaced once sometime in 2023.

My wife and I are on basically a four year cycle . My wife will be getting the 14 this year, and currently has an XR. I upgraded last year to a 13 from an 8.

Basically, as long as it works and meets our needs we don’t upgrade. Neither of us lives on the iPhone.

I think the “two year” thing had to do with carrier contracts. But we’ve always bought the phones outright.

I have an iPhone 7. It makes phone calls just about as good as anything in the past. I joked just today that someone may have to convince me that an iPhone 14 allows me to put twice as much information in the same phone message before I’d upgrade. I do have to wonder though whether I will someday be shut out of the 4G world because new and replacement towers are always 5G.



I’m on a refurbished iPhone X. Battery health still good and it’s fast (running iOS 16 beta). I can’t say any features of the newer phones have enticed me.

When the battery goes I’ll trade in for another more recent but refurbished model.

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No fixed cycle here (3GS, 5, 6, X).

Dynamic Island is prime Apple and got me excited, until I saw the European prices of the Pro… (around €1300 for the base model!)

So I hope my X lasts another year (iOS 16 RC seems to run fine on it)

I’m normally on a 2-year cycle, with my wife getting my old one for 2 more years.

Currently that’s a 12 Pro MAX and a 10S MAX.

I’m not sure that I’ll go for a 14 Pro MAX - but I might. I’m not sure how much I care about the enhancements.

We upgrade at Xmas.

(Watches are also on a 2 year cycle - and they seem to me more compelling to replace. Also replaced the other Xmas in the cycle. So that might “force” the phone upgrades.)

But, in general, I could easily go 3 years. I’m lucky in that I don’t need to.